So, you’ve been climbing at the gym and practicing rope skills all winter between dawn patrol touring sessions. And you’ve been thinking, “It might be pretty rad to try mountaineering.”
But, if you’ve never done it before, you’ve probably also had some other thoughts cross your mind like “Where do I start?” “What’s a good beginner-friendly area?” “Do I have all the right equipment?”

If you’ve been asking yourself these questions, it’s worth considering heading out with a guiding service for your first outdoor climbing excursion. Besides the obvious benefits - like knowing where to go and what to do - going with a guiding service can enhance your experience in a number of ways. Kyle Wyatt, one of the guides at Kaf Adventures, stopped by Mountain Shop to chat about it with me. 

But first, let’s do some introductions!

Kaf Adventures is a Seattle-based guiding service that offers unique guided outdoor experiences and educational courses throughout the PNW and abroad. Kaf, is an ancient Hebrew word meaning, “The Power to Actualize Potential,” and the folks at Kaf truly embody this in their work. You can book just about any guided activity from rock climbing, to avalanche courses, to backpacking and hiking, and more!

Kyle, a Portland native, has been enjoying all the amazing outdoor recreation that Oregon has to offer since he could walk! He’s passionate about guiding and he loves doing it because it’s so community oriented. It’s all about sharing his love of the outdoors through emphasizing education, training, and safety. 


Top 5 benefits of hiring a guiding service for your first climb: 

1) Expectations
No rush, no FOMO, and no pressure to “keep up”. You can go at a comfortable pace and you’ll be with folks with a similar ability level. 

2) Education
You’ll want to be lead by people who know what they’re doing and Kaf guides really know their stuff! There’s no gatekeeping, no industry secrets - the guides are there to share their knowledge freely so that you can feel prepared to go again... and again, and again!

3) Experience
Professional guides and course leaders are experienced, trained, and certified. They are experts in their field, so they are able to build on a person's skills and expertise at any level. Plus, KAF is one of only two organizations that have the necessary permits to guide on the upper portion of Mount Hood.

4) Personalized
Courses are tailored to participants' objectives and ability levels. Groups tend to be small and focus on building community and camaraderie! Or, you can even book private sessions for a fully personalized experience. 

5) Peace of mind
One of the questions up top was “Do I have all the necessary gear?” With a guide service, the process of getting ready for your trip is thorough, so you’ll be able to answer that question with confidence. From comprehensive gear lists to pre-trip meetups and detailed itineraries, guides are there to make sure you are completely prepared for your outing.


Learn more about Kaf Adventures here: